By Roger Utnehmer
DoorCountyDailyNews.com has selected Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham as the 2016 Newsmaker of the Year. Birmingham made news when he was re-elected to a third three-year term by just 52 votes in April.
He led efforts to develop the west side waterfront with a controversial hotel project. Birmingham also welcomed Gov. Scott Walker to Sturgeon Bay for the dedication of an expansion at Pro Products, was featured at a ground-breaking for a $7.7 million apartment complex on Madison Avenue and saw Cadence complete construction of a new 63,000-foot facility in the city’s industrial park.
Birmingham also supported the purchase of former Palmer Johnson Yacht properties by Bay Shipbuilding Company and the closure of portions of Jefferson Street and First Avenue.
In December, Birmingham was accused by his opponent in the spring election of promising developers in private that views would not be obstructed by construction on a city-owned parking lot on Madison Avenue. Laurel Brooks questioned Birmingham’s verbal commitments that may prevent the city from developing the parking lot or obstructing the view from the Bay Loft apartments on Madison Avenue.